Campaign 2016: America passes into new hands

Summary: Campaign 2016 has achieved what many thought impossible, unifying America’s ruling class — behind Hillary Clinton. If Clinton manages this skillfully, it will mark the end of political polarization among our elites and begin a new era of bipartisanship (while America’s citizens remain weak and fragmented). The effects could be huge. She and the Democrats will owe it all to Trump.

Hands holding America

This election has become a carnival sideshow, behind our rulers are arranging a new government for America. There is no screen concealing these things. We just prefer to watch the entertaining follies up front, while our rulers take of business on the back of the stage.

There are three hundred thousand entries on Google for “political polarization”, mostly whining about its awfulness and pining for the bipartisanship of the days of yore. Worry no more! America’s ruling class has unified behind Hillary Clinton. Now she has to just build it into an enduring coalition, as FDR did.

Clinton’s coalition is a broad one, built by betraying some the Left’s core beliefs (just as the GOP came to power in 1964-1982 by adding racism to its platform). Bold foreign wars and aggressive domestic surveillance won support of the neocons and military-industrial-complex. Goldman, as usual, got in early and built Clinton’s support from Wall Street. The coy Clinton-Kaine will-they-won’t-they act prepares for their eventual support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (hence her support by big business).

Slowly people are seeing the truth. Such as Aran Gupta at CounterPunch

“The elite are aware that the Democrats are more capable managers of capitalist globalization, diplomacy, and war than the Republicans. It’s why Clinton is attracting a bipartisan cast of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and the military and foreign policy establishment. Clinton also has unions, feminists, and civil rights groups behind her. They serve as progressive window dressing and troops for swing-state trench warfare in return for a “seat at the table” but no real say.”

While the facts can be seen, we can only imagine the consequences from this new unity of our ruling elites. How long will it last, with what effects?

There are few historical precedents for a successful and enduring dominate political coalition in America. The extraordinary stress of the Depression and WWII allowed the Democrats to achieve this under FDR (it broke under Truman). To see how this might work in peacetime, imagine if in the late 1850s the Democrats brokered a compromise on slavery (e.g., regulate it in the South with limited expansion in the West) — leaving the Republicans a fringe party.

It might be happening now, as I prophetically wrote in 2013: the Democratic Party takes the center, pushes GOP right to madness. A unified ruling class, led by a resurgent 1%, with an apathetic and passive citizenry — who can say what changes might be made to America in the next decade?

” “For the mob, use grapeshot.”
— Attributed to the Duke of Wellington. The sentiments of our ruling elites don’t change, but their tools do.


No unification is complete. But lists of Trump’s supporters among the 1% are short, such as this in US News & World Reports from March, and this last week by Fortune.

In the midst of the campaign we cannot clearly see events, but here are past campaigns showing unusually high levels of elite unity: against McGovern in 1972, against FDR in 1932, and (the extreme example, the most expensive election in US history in terms of GDP) McKinley against William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

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10 thoughts on “Campaign 2016: America passes into new hands”

  1. So, in other words you are saying that what is good for the elites is good for the common man? That war is good for humanity and the Empire? That the elites who have pushing for a transnational, corporatist fascism long before the word fascism was ever defined as such by Mussolini, have the best interests of the workers of the world in mind? Obama is a globalist, run and managed by the same elites. There are factions of one main party at the rarified inner sanctums of the true ruling elites, but crony capitalist, finance capitalism is the economic model with corporations gaining supremacy over national sovereignty. The ultimate end of the globalist, transnational and corporatist movement pushed since 1776 in Bavaria by our magnominious elites is devoid of democracy, devoid of individual rights and moral and ethical restraints. If you truly believe that a criminal, perhaps truly evil war mongering woman such as Hillary Clinton is the solution to bind us all in the happy harmony of the Administrative State and to the One World Order I am afraid you are lost within the false reality of the indoctrination memes of the State.

    1. tstraus,

      ” you are saying that what is good for the elites is good for the common man?”

      That’s your interpretation of this? Esp the closing line: “A unified ruling class, led by a resurgent 1%, with an apathetic and passive citizenry — who can say what changes might be made to America in the next decade?”

      No, that’s not what I meant. That’s the opposite of what I meant. This post is a warning.

  2. My goodness. It all goes on right in front of our eyes and so few can consistently see it or speak of it. Watching this unfold is fascinating. Speaking to others about it is a serious journey into the world of “resignation”. As in what do you think we can do? Many people are not ignorant of the basics of the trends, it seems to be just too much effort to resist. Or what or how to resist?
    Life is too easy yet, today, here.

    Thx for this quick one.


    1. Tawnya,

      I agree. But you raise an important question: what exactly is our problem? I have expressed it in different ways. Sometimes as you do, referring to our obvious gullibility. At other times referring to our apathy and passivity.

      Are we gullible because we don’t care? That is, are we like the people of Late Republican Rome — unwilling to carry the burdens of self-government (i.e., apathetic and passive)?

      Or are we gullible and so incapable of self-government?

      Both of these conditions are fixable, although how to effect the cures is unclear to me (over my pay grade). I suspect correct diagnosis must precede cure (although that’s not always the case).

    1. Todd,

      It’s too soon to make recommendations, since we cannot yet make even good guesses about the coming political regime. We are in the bleachers watching the owners huddle in their box. What are they planning? What are their factions and leaders? No good intel means guess is just fun (which is the problem — politics has become entertainment for Americans, the first step to peonage).

      Rather I suggest asking what we can do to retake control of America. The machinery built by the Founders remains idle but powerful. See suggestions here! The magnitude of the challenge is shown by a simple fact: I’ve made this suggestion thousands of times, with zero positive response. The most common response is educated surrender (highly intellectual rational for doing nothing).

  3. This won’t happen, nature abhors a vacuum, any government that gets too cosy will invite an opposition as they naturally get lazy and the mistakes pile up.

    Look at Scotland – Labour wanted a fiefdom and the SNP eventually got in. Or Ireland where Fianna Fáil managed 65 years of dominance since 1932. Eventually they got arrogant and messed up, but even then you could see the nibbling since 1992 when Mary Robinson got the presidency.

    In the US, the federal nature makes change very difficult, but any political movement will eventually gain control at the local level and start building out an organisation strong enough to compete at the State and then Federal Level. It has arguably happened already with the Tea Party.

    Since the new movement will obviously be anti oligarchical, it will attempt to make the lower levels more democratic (PR for state legislatures and so on), and will likely succeed in somewhere like Vermont.

    1. Tuairim,

      I don’t understand your point. You appear to be confusing two different statements. You say “This won’t happen” but explain that it won’t last forever. Yes, nothing lasts forever.

      In US history periods of political dominance by one party last a generation or to. FDR gained control in 1932, and the Democrats were dominant for 50 years (even GOP presidents signed liberal bills. see Nixon). Ditto for the Republicans after Lincoln.

      But during these periods of dominance the dominant party reshaped America, and the changes survived their loss of control. America was radically altered by the mid-19th century Republicans — and the Whigs never returned to power. Ditto for the Democrats era (1932-1982), enduring changes.

      Which is my point. We might be entering another such point. So saying “This won’t happen” seems to ignore the changes happening today.

      (2) “In the US, the federal nature makes change very difficult”

      Not so difficult that dominant political movements were unable to radically change America.

      (3) “it will attempt to make the lower levels more democratic”

      That’s a confident guess about the future. Perhaps so, perhaps they will take power by some other means.

  4. America has already “passed into new hands” — decades before the 2016 (s)election.

    America is already the nominal HQ of, and merely ‘posing’ as, our former country — now ‘captured’, controlled, and nearly fully “Occupied” by this Disguised Global Capitalist Empire of the global ruling-elite UHNWI’s.

    However, this extant (but well hidden) DSGEmpire does not leave things to chance and thus has fully vetted both of the candidates for the office of faux-Emperor/Empress-in-waiting from the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the rougher-talking neocon ‘R’ Vichy Party and the smoother-lying neoliberal-con ‘D’ Vichy Party — and is satisfied with either, for different scenarios.

    As accurately mentioned in this article, “America’s ruling class has unified behind Hillary Clinton” for the Blue team scenario of comfortable continuity, but the DGCEmpire’s ruling-elite can also live with a Trump alternate scenario which while less comfortable and entailing some risks would be more attractive in the case of actually precipitating the destruction of the current form of government facade overall. Thus, either path has different, but distinct ways for the Empire to ‘play-out’ the later innings of this game.

    Since only a small number of thousands of virtual ‘subjects’ of the DGCEmpire have “adequately diagnosed” that an entrenched (but well disguised) Empire controls what the vast majority still think of as ‘their country’, there is little danger of any focused Revolutionary movement against whichever political path proceeds.

    Unlike the First (and only successful) American Revolution against Empire — where a significant minority knew they were facing an Empire, but ultimately concluded that they would have to mount a violent Revolution against a superior armed force, today’s Americans are primarily dis-empowered and passive by dint of not even understanding that they are facing an Empire at all, and have no understanding that they could easily overthrow it merely by 5% or so of the supposed citizens loudly and publicly; exposing it in the streets, ‘calling-it-out’, and firing a “Shout heard round the world” that their country — the ‘exceptional nation’ —- is really a militarist and looting global EMPIRE which is the source of all the deadly problems in our world.

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